Since visiting Singapore earlier this year, barely a week goes by without another magazine from that country arriving at the magCulture office, and this week has been no excpetion. Volume one of Dear, a photography magazine would be a remarkable publication for the revealing insight it offers into Singapore life; what makes it even more special is its phyisical design.
The main body of the issue is printed on a satisfyingly lightweight but bulky matt paper that holds the colour and detail of the imagery well. It’s very flickable and the pages sit flat thanks to the open binding; this allows the stark text openers to each story to sit right in the centre of the page (above).
Set against the simplicity of the design and presentation, the front cover is an amazing feature; two layers of diecut words spell out the magazine’s mission, ‘Dear is a zine that collects, archives and immortalises in print all things fun and unique from casual conversations to visual essays that aim to assault your senses…’
Layer one peels back to the second layer (above) and then below that is the opening page and name of the magazine.
The issue explores the theme Lost and Found, presenting a series of stories by Singapore photographers and illustrators that range from John Clang’s re-appropriation of the Singapore Airlines ‘Singapore Girl’ marketing campaign (above), trading on nostalgia while challenging the campaign with handwritten scrawls across the images (‘No, we don’t go to jail for chewing gum’), to a series of photographs by Ang Song Nian of the improvised living spaces of the average Singaporean (top).
There’s also a strongly paced illustrated story by Cleo Tsw (above) that adds another dimesion to the project.
The magazine has been funded as part of Singapore’s 50th anniversary of independence, and reflects the country’s desire to be seen to have a strong creative voice.
Design: Do Not Design